As they say in the Godfather, “Keep your friend close and your enemies closer.” Since I heed that advice like I adhere to the strict policy to”leave the gun; take the Cannoli,” I did a friendly exchange with BirdsFan.com to see what Eagles fans are thinking. In the spirit of cooperation, I answered some of their questions too. You can find that interview here.
Bear Goggles On: The Eagles have been a little schizophrenic this season – big win followed by a shocking loss. Which Eagles team is the real deal, the one that beat up the Giants or that got humbled by the Raiders?
BirdsFan: That’s really the question everyone in Philadelphia has been asking themselves for the majority of this season. The inconsistency is too much to handle. It really is painful being an Eagles fan. The last two weeks the Eagles have made A LOT of mistakes but still found themselves with a chance to win towards the end of the game. That is what gives me hope. Also, they tend to be a strong team down the stretch. Our squad is loaded with talent, and that’s why I think through the rest of the season you’ll see the “good” Eagles, not the “bad” Eagles.
BGO: McNabb has long been coveted by the Bears fans. Seeing what’s happened to Cutler this season, do you think Donovan could have had success in Chicago had the Bears somehow drafted him? BF: In Donovan’s career, when the Bears have been successful, it was in large part to their defensive play. It seems like Chicago has been riding the quarterback carousel for quite some time now and I’m sure you agree. However, I feel as though they never had that high-level talent on offense for a quarterback to be successful with.
Donovan had a lot of the same thing in Philadelphia. He’s surrounded with a lot of playmakers now, but in the past he found success being surrounded by a lot of mediocrity (They went to the Super Bowl with T.O. but who cares I hate his guts). Like I said, I’ve always considered the Bears a defensive minded team; however, if Donovan spent his career in Chicago, I think they would have been viewed as a very balanced team in terms of their offense and defense.
BGO:What, if anything, scares you about the Bears offense? Are you worried some of your corners could get a broken finger intercepting Cutler’s passes?
BF: I hope not because we have enough injuries as it is. The biggest threat I see on the Bears offense is Greg Olsen. He is a great young tight end and the Eagles struggle every week with their tight end coverage. I don’t think Cutler has a lot of confidence in his receivers so he will look for Olsen a lot, as well as Matt Forte out of the backfield.
I’m not that worried about the ground attack as Forte has struggled and the Eagles run defense has been pretty strong. The wide receivers don’t scare me much either, except for the big play with Devin Hester. Olsen is definitely my number one priority if I’m Sean McDermott.
BGO: Brian Westbrook will miss Sunday’s game because of his second concussion in two weeks. Do you think he’ll play again this season? (My fantasy team needs to know!) Is his career over?
BF: Doctors have said that he will make a full recovery. I’ve heard that beyond Sunday he will miss a minimum of two or three additional weeks. My thoughts are that he’s done for the year. If the Eagles aren’t in a place to make the playoffs when he could possibly come back, there is no reason for him to play. Even if they are, his production hasn’t been amazing this year and isn’t something they’ll really miss.
Is his career over? In Philadelphia I think it is. It hurts to say it because I’m such a big Brian Westbrook fan but it’s what I believe. After seeing how the Eagles didn’t bring Brian Dawkins back last year, it makes you think they’ll do the same with Westbrook. From there I guess it’s his decision if he has had enough or if he wants to move on. I hate seeing Dawkins in a Bronco’s jersey and really don’t want to see Westbrook on another team.
BGO: Besides Westbrook, any other key injuries that Bears fans should be aware of?
BF: I’d keep an eye on Sheldon Brown and Akeem Jordan. Brown was limited in practice on Wednesday and lines up on the opposite side of Asante Samuel at cornerback. Not having him would be huge as the Eagles lost their third and fourth string corners last week and don’t have the depth they used to.
The injury bug has hit the linebackers hard all year and is now affecting Akeem Jordan. If you saw the play he was injured on last week, his knee went the opposite way it’s supposed to and it was pretty gross. They called it a hyper-extension but it looked pretty bad. If he can’t go, we will see yet another different grouping of linebackers starting on Sunday.
BGO: Who is the one Philadelphia Eagle that Bears fans probably haven’t heard of but will definitely remember after Sunday?
BF: I’m going to have to say our fullback Leonard Weaver. The Eagles got a lot of heat last week for having a first and goal on the one yard line and settling for a field goal. Everyone and their mother thought the Eagles should have just given Weaver three chances to pick up the yard.
I think Andy [Reid] heard these complaints and regrets not trying that. Weaver should find the end zone at least once on Sunday. With Westbrook not playing, I think you will see Weaver featured all over the field, not just at the goal line. He received eight carries against the Giants and found a lot of success. LeSean McCoy hasn’t been fantastic running the ball, so I could see Weaver getting 8-10 carries.
BGO: At 5-4, the Eagles are in the mix for a Wild Card berth and only a game behind the Cowboys for the division, but a moderately tough schedule lies ahead. Can they win the division? What about the Wild Card?
BF: Without looking at the Cowboys and Giants remaining schedule, I do think that the Eagles can win the division. Obviously, they’re going to need some help from where they’re sitting right now though. Last season, the Eagles playoff hopes came down to their Week 17 match up with the Cowboys. This year, they find themselves with yet another Week 17 match up with the Cowboys. Last year the Eagles hosted, this year they travel to Dallas. I definitely see this game having similar meaning to the one last year. Will they win the division? I’m not sure. Will they make the playoffs? I think so.
BGO: What’s your prediction for Sunday?
BF: The Eagles really need to get back on track. I think their match up on Sunday with a struggling Bears team is just what they need. I see them getting back on track and picking up a much needed win. Eagles 27 – 17.